ParishSOFT IQ Tutorial: How to Design Complex Queries

This topic is a continuation of the previous lesson that showed you how to build a simple query in ParishSOFT IQ. Here we show you how to design a complex query, one that enables you to use advanced features to specify

What Is a Complex Query?

Understanding the Process of Building a Query

Lesson 2: Building a Complex Query

What Is a Complex Query?

A query is a formal way of retrieving information from your database. You create queries to answer questions you have about the information stored in tables in your database. When you build a query, you tell ParishSOFT IQ exactly where to search your database for the information you need and, if necessary, you define the conditions (criteria) to find the exact data you want.

Queries built in ParishSOFT IQ can be very powerful because they can pull information from multiple tables in your ParishSOFT database and give you answers to questions you cannot find by examining the data from one table alone. Most of the queries you want to design will probably require ParishSOFT IQ to pull information from more than one table, allowing you to answer more complex questions.

This tutorial topic shows you how to create a complex query. A query is considered complex if it must retrieve data from multiple entities and apply conditions to generate the desired output. The more complex the question, the more advanced the query must be to extract the desired information.

Understanding the Process of Building a Query

The process of building any query consists of these main steps.

  1. Decide exactly what you want to know.

A well-designed query starts with having a good idea about what you want to find out and where to find it. Start by formulating a question or drawing a picture. Ask yourself what information you need to obtain from your database. Building a query is more complicated than asking a question, but knowing the question you want to answer is the best way to start. You can also make a statement or list specifically what you want to know. Alternatively, as illustrated below, you can draw a diagram to pinpoint the exact information you need to know.

  1. Identify the information you need.

In this step, analyze your question to determine what information you need and where that information resides in your database. Use these questions to help you identify the information you need:

  1. Set up and run the query.

After you determine where the data is located, which columns to select, and whether or not specific conditions must be met, set up the query in ParishSOFT IQ and run it. ParishSOFT IQ's graphical user interface enables you to easily build a query by selecting the desired columns and applying the necessary conditions. With the click of a button, you can run your query and view the results.

  1. View the results and modify the query, if necessary.

Results are displayed in a table in the Query Results panel. The top of the panel shows the number of records returned by the query.

You should always analyze your results in detail. If the query displays unexpected values or results you do not understand, review your column selections to make sure you picked the right ones. And, for more complex queries, check the conditions you applied. Make changes, if necessary, to the setup and then rerun the query.

  1. Save the query.

If desired, save your query. Saved queries can be re-used, modified, and shared (made global) with other members of your organization.

Lesson 2: Building a Complex Query

In Lesson 2, you will learn how to build a complex query that combines data from multiple entities and applies conditions to the data to answer a question. The construction of the query in Lesson 2 follows the query building process outlined in the previous section.

After you complete this lesson, you will be able to:

        Understand the process of building a query.

        Design a more complex query based on multiple columns and conditions.

        Run a query and view results.

        Modify how the results are displayed

        Save a query.

Topics in Lesson 2

Step 1. Decide Exactly What You Want to Know

Step 2. Identify the Information You Need

Step 3. Set Up and Run the Query

Step 4. View Results and Modify the Display, If Necessary

Step 5. Save the Query


Ready to Begin?

When you are ready to start Lesson 2, click the Start button below.

After you complete a step in the lesson, click the Next - - -> link to advance to the next step. If you need to return to a previous step in the lesson, click < - - - Previous.



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